Johnson’s Brexit deal: a ‘red herring’ to help him win an election?

Boris Johnson: He may think he has pushed Parliament into a Brexit checkmate. Jo Swinson (behind him) and other Opposition MPs may have other ideas.

Perhaps Boris Johnson should be congratulated – he has struck a Brexit deal with the European Union against all the odds.

But the Labour Party won’t support it.

The Liberal Democrats shouldn’t support it.

The Democratic Unionist Party has rejected it.

And in the European Parliament, the Brexit Party absolutely hates it. Nigel Farage says it will lead to years of negotiations for a free trade deal that won’t be agreed unless the UK gives up its fishing waters and accepts the EU’s regulatory system.

I don’t currently know what the European Research Group (ERG) – the ‘party within a party’ within the Conservative Party that wants a “no deal” Brexit – thinks.

No is it clear what the Independent MPs, from whom Mr Johnson removed the Conservative whip, have to say about it.

My personal opinion is that Parliament will vote it down.

If this happens on Saturday (October 19), Mr Johnson will be required to request another extension of the Brexit deadline.

Opposition MPs have been saying that this would give them the opportunity to call a vote of “no confidence” in the Tory government – because it will have failed to take the UK out of the EU on October 31, as promised.

A general election would follow.

But after an agreement is voted down, Mr Johnson would be in a much stronger position.

He would be able to say that Parliament has blocked Brexit – that other MPs prevented him from enacting the (sorry) “will of the people”, and could then call on the electorate to give him the Parliamentary majority he would need to force his deal on the country.

It would be a trick and a lie, but he could get away with it because most of the public is sick and tired of all the Brexit talk and the fact that the Tories have been using it to suppress discussion of practically any other political issue affecting us. Many people may vote for him, out of fatigue.

He has the media on his side, and he has an Opposition leader who has been painted as a danger to the British way of life by those news-hacks and by backstabbers in his own party (who are slowly leaving after doing their worst, Lousie Ellman being the latest).

So I wonder whether this deal is a ‘red herring’ – a distraction to divert attention away from his real goal, which may still be a “no deal” Brexit, after winning an election.

Perhaps Mr Corbyn should consider changing his tactics. Perhaps he’ll support a referendum on the new deal – to show public opposition to it. Is that his ‘Plan B’?

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No Comments

  1. Jon Lisle-Summers October 17, 2019 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    The key is the DUP which has publicly rejected the ‘deal’. This makes it much harder for Boorish to say that all the usual suspects in Parliament are to blame: so his hand is weaker in some respects.

    Now is the right moment to call for an extension in order to have a Referendum on the actual details of the deal. Which is what should have happened three years ago.

    • Zippi October 17, 2019 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      There was no deal, three years since, in fact, we were nowhere close to having one. On a practical level, what would have been the consequences of the “deal” being voted down? Parliament has failed find a majority on anything and they are just 650, can you imagine how much more difficult it would be to find consensus within the entire country? How many times would the Prime Minister have to go back to the E.U. in order to find a “deal” that was acceptable to everybody, or even a majority, especially given how vociferously the people who voted to remain have rejected the result of the Referendum? You do not direct by committee and you negotiate even less so. I guess that the way around it, which is how we do things in our union, is to have a questionnaire to find out what people want and base a claim on those results. On a national level, it would still be impractical and how long would the process endure, if successive agreements were rejected?

  2. Zippi October 17, 2019 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    The new Northern Ireland Protocol and new Political Declaration.

    What of Northern Ireland? It seems, on the face of it, that it is the Northern Irish who have had to concede everything. Then, there is the so-called “level playing field.” Hmmm…
    Read it for yourselves and make up your own minds.

    • Mike Sivier October 19, 2019 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      The Northern Irish, who wanted to remain the EU, may take a different view.

  3. Growing Flame October 17, 2019 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    The pressure is on for Tory MPs to line up behind this “deal” regardless of what it actually SAYS. What counts is what it REPRESENTS. Which is the impression that BoJob is a man of his word and gets things done. Not a credible idea, I know, but remember, Donald Trump got elected by US evangelical Chrisitians , the most sanctimonious, holier-than-thou moralists in the whole benighted country. They didn’t care what he had actually DONE, only what he REPRESENTED.

    The same for Johnson.

    Most voters would struggle to name one aspect of this deal that is really different to Theresa May’s. That’s not the point. The whole Tory project is to get re elected by pretending to be the voice of the people. At this stage, ANY deal will do. You don’t get to be a Tory MP by having consistent principles.

    You didn’t hear me say this but”Thank goodness for Nigel Farage and the DUP!”. They are our last chance to stop this plan albeit for the wrong motives.

    • Mike Sivier October 20, 2019 at 1:08 pm - Reply

      Farage won’t have much to do with it. The DUP is doing the right thing.

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